Tuesday, 31 January 2006

Holy Resistance: Wide and Easy, or Narrow and Hard?

I’ve been thinking about resistance lately. I’m resisting the direction my denomination is taking with regard to the authority and interpretation of Scripture.

I think there is such a thing as holy resistance. Spiritual discipline is holy resistance to things which deflect us from following Jesus. Holy resistance is to our spiritual well-being as weight-bearing exercise is to our physical well-being. Holy resistance requires some effort. It is rarely easy. We push against the things that will destroy our spiritual muscle-tone; like prayerlessness, love of money and inappropriate expressions of our sexuality.

Holy resistance keeps us on course so we can pass safely through the narrow gate on the hard way that leads to life Jesus talked about (Mat 7.14).

Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of Christianity being about a narrow gate and a hard way. It smacks of narrow-mindedness when our society promotes open-mindedness as a primary virtue. For example, to suggest that the only appropriate sexual activity ought to be between one man and one woman within marriage is now seen as being unreasonably narrow-minded.

The world wants gates that are wide and ways that are easy. Jesus clearly says they lead to destruction.

As followers of Jesus, we Christians are obliged to resist wide gates and easy ways. We are to lovingly encourage others to resist them, too, and support them as they develop their own holy resistance to anything which would deflect them from the narrow gate and hard way that leads to life.
Only take care, and keep your soul diligently. (Deu 4.9)